Marcus Edwards reunion with Spurs might spark emotions of remorse | Jock

Marcus Edwards will always remember his first assembly with Mauricio Pochettino. “Ah, he is the perfect younger participant within the academy,” the Tottenham supervisor mentioned on the time, and watched because the attacking midfielder tried to cover his delight. “He who has the appropriate foot…”

Uh, wait a second. “You imply the left? Edwards replied

“Oh sorry. Dangerous participant,” Pochettino mentioned as he walked away.

The Argentinian left him for a second earlier than turning again. “I am solely joking.” Edwards would additionally burst right into a smile.

It was basic Pochettino, a genius icebreaker undermined by evil – one designed to make a connection – and this primary spell of his tenure at Spurs, following his arrival in the summertime of 2014, has been coloured by hope. and pleasure relating to Edwards. .

The thought was that the precociously gifted child would rise by way of the ranks and someday be concerned when Spurs performed within the showpiece Champions League fixtures. Which, all these years later, will occur on Tuesday night time when the membership tackle Sporting on the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Solely it will likely be the other way up, the other way up – which is one technique to describe Edwards’ remaining years in north London.

Marcus Edwards in action for Tottenham against Liverpool in a Premier League 2 game in 2018.
Marcus Edwards in motion for Tottenham towards Liverpool in a Premier League 2 sport in 2018. Pictures: Jan Kruger/Getty Pictures

Now 23, Edwards will put on the No 10 shirt for Jock, not Spurs, having joined them from Vitória Guimarães for €7.5m final January. He is been in Portugal since September 2019, when Spurs transferred him completely to Vitória, and the very first thing to say is that a few of the previous pleasure is effervescent round him once more.

Sporting supervisor Rúben Amorim harbored him throughout the second half of final season, with the membership signing him to succeed Pablo Sarabia, whose mortgage from Paris Saint-Germain would expire in June. This time round Edwards has began persistently, scoring three objectives and aiding three in seven appearances and displaying the flexibleness to satisfy Amorim’s tactical calls for.

However Edwards’ presence towards Spurs will immediate an inevitable query and maybe a way of remorse. That is as a result of he was a phenomenon in some ways – regardless of barely enjoying at senior degree in English soccer – a participant with the X-factor, the uncommon mixture of contact, steadiness and acceleration which allowed him to overhaul his opponents and which, infamously, led Pochettino to say in September 2016 that Edwards reminded him of Lionel Messi. Edwards’ ‘Mini Messi’ nickname was already established on the membership the place he had been since he was eight years previous. So how, the place and why did it go incorrect for him at Spurs?

Marcus Edwards scores against Braga - one of his three goals in seven appearances this season.
Marcus Edwards scores towards Braga – one in every of his three objectives in seven appearances this season. Pictures: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Pictures

One vital factor to say is that it wasn’t about his contracts. Spurs had needed Edwards to signal his first skilled contract in December 2015 on the age of 17, however he would stand till the next August till the two-year worth and size have been appropriate , regardless of the strain he was below.

Edwards made his Spurs debut instead towards Gillingham within the EFL Cup the day after Pochettino supplied the type comparability to Messi and, in July 2017, after profitable the European Beneath-17 Championship with England, he agreed to a brand new three-year contract. contract till 2020, which assured him £2million.

By no means earlier than had Spurs paid an 18-year-old from their academy a lot and, in the long run, they did it as a result of they needed to make it work. So why did Pochettino really feel he was unable to incorporate Edwards in his first crew throughout the first half of the 2017-18 season?

Some would blame John McDermott and Dean Rastrick, the academy’s prime leaders on the time. Edwards wanted to flee the academy bubble, to work with skilled senior gamers to be able to mature. However McDermott and Rastrick have been reluctant to defend him as a result of his habits and timing have been erratic. How might Edwards be rewarded when he did not match the tradition they have been attempting to determine?

The underside line with Edwards is that he is an introvert, somebody who would not open up simply (if in any respect) and other people could contemplate him impolite. At Spurs, he confronted Rastrick, particularly; positions turned entrenched and the connection couldn’t discover the required compromises.

Pochettino launched his autobiography in October 2017 and wrote, “Edwards has authority and behavioral points and we have to have a look at the massive image to seek out out the foundation trigger.”

Then got here Edwards’ disastrous mortgage spell at Norwich within the second half of the season when he solely made a short substitute look; his keep was minimize brief on account of studies of poor timing and a failure to interact together with his teammates. The writing was on the wall for him at Spurs. He was loaned out to Excelsior in Rotterdam in 2018-19 earlier than shifting to Vitória, the place he would rating 20 objectives and make 14 assists in 96 appearances.

At Sporting, Amorim would really like him to study extra Portuguese. Edwards would not have too many phrases within the language and he primarily hangs out with Ghanaian striker Abdul Fatawu Issahaku and Dutch defender Jeremiah St Juste – each English audio system. Amorim communicates with Edwards in English and the assistant supervisor, Carlos Fernandes, can be an English speaker.

Edwards, who performs on the wing however has operated as a false 9 this season, is well-liked inside the crew, though he’s not probably the most social individual. He retains his head down, concentrating on his sport and letting little trouble him. His relationship with Amorim is sweet. Spurs followers will watch him with curiosity and trepidation.

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